Saturday, November 3, 2007

There is a lightbulb stuck over my head

So there is this light bulb stuck over my head. It is a cute, squiggly little light bulb and I can't get it off of my mind. (Picture a cartoon character, in jeans and a v-neck sweater looking very cute, with an idea)

My little brother, who has been much taller than me for some time, brought home his first CFL in middle school. My mom stuck it in the basement in one of those sockets with a pull chain. That was maybe 1990. As of last weekend, my last visit the the old homestead, it is still working great. Amazing huh?

So what happens when those little Compact Florescent Light bulbs burn out and stop working?

My first CFL burned out a few weeks ago. Ever since then, it has been on my mind....

So I called the town highway department. They had no idea what I was talking about. They told me to take the CFL back to the store. I had to calmly explain to the nice man that light bulbs do in fact burn out and it really wasn't anyone's fault. He said he would call me back.

The friendly man did in fact call me back and left a message....To tell me that I would have to drive 45 minutes in each direction on my Saturday afternoon to safely dispose of my light bulb.


Is the energy I saved from that one little light bulb greater than the emissions my station wagon would be spewing over the hour and a half of highway driving? I am still fuming over that one.

Over the next few hours I got mad and annoyed and then realized that this problem is far greater than just mine. Over the next few years thousands of CFLs will be burning out all over Connecticut and the world. Are those people going to drive an hour and a half to safely dispose of their bulb? NO!

I have always promised myself that I would allow myself to complain only once about a problem that I have not tried to fix. My one rant was up, so now I had to find a solution. Brownies.

Not the kind you eat, but the kind you brainwash. Specifically my daughter's Brownie troop. While all of the other troops are busy apple picking and selling cookies I am methodically turning my daughter's troop of girls into independent environmental activists. I have personally witnessed two of my Brownies chasing down a seven year-old in the school cafeteria for not recycling her drink container. Got to love that!

Anyway, I gave the town a call back and explained the situation and what would happen to our own little Pleasentville if every house began tossing mercury-laden CFLs into the trash. I proposed that my daughter's Brownie troop would create collection bins to be placed in the town hall, library, community center or wherever that town wanted them to be placed. No response. No call back.

I'm wondering what my next step should be. A town meeting perhaps? That sounds completely intimidating. As for now I plan on creating flyers for the library letting people know how not to dispose of Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs. Hubby thinks I'm crazy...again.

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